Les Stances a Sophie

Universal Sound
Running length
8 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Thème De Yoyo 8:59 8,039
2 Theme De Celine 3:02 9,113
3 Variations Sur Un Theme De Monteverdi (i) 3:02 3,156
4 Variations Sur Un Theme De Monteverdi (ii) 1:50 3,025
5 Proverbes (I) 2:38 4,619
6 Theme amour universal 3:51 5,998
7 Theme libre 8:51 5,124
8 Proverbes (II) 1:22 4,047

About this album

In 1970, the members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago were living as expatriates in Paris. The group had only recently expanded to its permanent quintet status with the addition of drummer/percussionist Don Moye when they were asked by New Wave director Moshe Misrahi to provide the soundtrack for his movie, Les Stances a Sophie. The music was never used in the film but, luckily, it was recorded. The result was one of the landmark records of the burgeoning avant-garde of the time and, simply put, one of the greatest jazz albums ever. On two of the tracks, the Art Ensemble is joined by vocalist Fontella Bass, at the time the wife of trumpeter Lester Bowie and riding the success of her pop-soul hit Rescue Me. She’s featured most prominently on the opening number, Theme De Yoyo, an astounding piece that has achieved legendary status as the finest fusion of funk and avant-garde jazz ever recorded. The mix is indeed seamless, with Moye and Favors laying down a throbbing, infectious groove, Bass singing the surreally erotic lyrics with enormous soul and the horn players soloing with ecstatic abandon. The remaining pieces cover a wide range stylistically with no less beauty and imagination, including two variations on a theme by Monteverdi, intense free improvising and soft, deeply probing sonic investigations.

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